Connecting Generations

Connecting Generations

Intergenerational relationships open us to fresh perspectives, knowledge and friendships. They are integral to the Village’s mission of inclusiveness and well-being and we are committed to creating opportunities to bring people of all ages together.

The Village Chicago is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a year-long tribute to living intergenerationally. Throughout 2019, our community will present events, programs and gatherings for all generations to learn, work, play and grow together.

Members and friends of the Village are encouraged to submit ideas about ways to connect generations. If you have Connecting Generations stories you wish to share, or want to play a role in this celebration, please contact The Village Chicago.

First Event in the Celebration:

Marc Freedman Comes to the Village!

On January 22, 2019 The Village launched “Connecting Generations”, a year-long celebration of its 10th anniversary with a kick-off event featuring renowned thought leader, social entrepreneur, and author Marc Freedman.

In conversation with Village members Dianne Campbell and Tom Kuczmarski, Freedman discussed his new book, How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations, which explores how mentoring the next generation can forge a legacy that lives beyond us.

The Launch of Ageless Innovators

On March 5, 2019 co-sponsors Chicago Innovation and The Village Chicago celebrated the launch of Chicago’s first intergenerational co-mentoring program dubbed “Ageless Innovators.”

This program takes a unique reciprocal approach in that all the participants are mentors. Each pair of participants are separated by at least one generation and matched based on their interests, goals and work history.

Tom Kuczmarski, Village member and Co-Founder of Chicago Innovation commented, “… you’re never too old—or young—to grow and learn from others.”

Ageless Innovators was made possible by a generous grant from The Retirement Research Foundation, one of the nation’s leading foundations supporting research and programs for older adults.

Bridging Generations Board

We are pleased to announce the formation of the Bridging Generations Board. These young adults have come together with the goal of destroying barriers and dispelling preconceptions based on age by creating meaningful connections among generations. Please click here to meet them.

Connecting Generations Experiences

We collecting and sharing stories from Village members who have made wonderful connections with people of other generations.


An Uproariously Useful Asset

In 2012, Village member Jane Curry was recruited by the Prosthetics and Orthotics Center at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine to become an “educational model” in the training program for students learning how to make and fit prosthetic devices. Jane was asked because since the age of 14 she has been an above the elbow amputee, a rare disability.

And that is how a woman in her 70’s got deeply involved with a series of students in their 20’s.

The work that educational models is difficult, but rewarding. Jane says, “When 5 students are simultaneously building you five separate prosthetic arms, most for the first time, within a limited time frame, AND you’re working to help them succeed… you are building very close-in relationships.”

Jane says it’s one of the best things she’s ever done ”I know these students will carry parts of me into their professional futures. And besides, it’s just so much fun!” Jane says it’s one of the best things she’s ever done

“But best of all there is nothing sweeter than taking what is clearly a deficit and turning it into an uproariously useful asset.”